Red Post Collection: Pwyff on 4.7 Kassadin and Feral Flare, 4.7 Shen Ult bug fix, and much more!

Posted on at 3:59 AM by Moobeat
Whether your are enjoying patch 4.7 or waiting to kick off day one of All-Star Paris 2014, let's start the day with a short red post collection! This morning's collection features: Pwyff with additional context on the Kassadin, Feral Flare, and ( lack of ) LeBlanc changes in 4.7,  RiotFpMcgee elaborating on the 4.7 Shen Ult bugfix, Riot Gradius with another update on DDoS issues, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

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Pwyff on 4.7 - Kassadin, Feral Flare, LeBlanc

As is tradition, Pwyff has been prowling the 4.7 patch notes' reddit submission and responding to player questions, comments, and concerns of the heart.

First up he provided additional context on both the Kassadin's Q and Feral Flare changes:
"This'll get hidden but these are two I wanted to address, so whatevs bruh:

1.) Kassadino: Magic shield is a neat thematic tie-in with Kassadin that doesn't make him the incredible asshole that silence was. That said, when we allocated a high power budget to Q, it made Kassadin pretty much a straight counterpick against a lot of mid-lane mages. In a game that values counterplay as much as we do, imagine just having someone pick Kassadin against your TF and then getting real sad. We're still exploring on Kass, but the TLDR is that niche specializations against certain champions can go too far and this was a case of that. Also Kass got a boatload of buffs in 4.6 and we just went too far.

2.) Feral Flare: There's a perception issue right now that Feral Flare "opened up" jungle paths forward, but I firmly believe Feral Flare didn't accomplish that. While we like the jungle for its disruptive nature over the course of the game, right now Junglers are almost completely dictating the pacing of the game, and that's not great when you realize they're doing it without interacting in a lane.

While most champions have to scrap out their advantages against an equally matched opponent, junglers are more nuanced and invading is incredibly risky. There's no 'winning by shades' as you consistently outplay your opponent, there's simply one play you make and you hope it succeeds. Then the jungler just continues to catch up via the 2014 season exp changes and they still come out with more gold and more exp than any solo lane. That's crazy.

Feral Flare as a concept was made to support carry junglers because we saw them and thought we could support them. Unfortunately, we created an item that simply exacerbated their uninteractive tactics while removing any 'reason' to participate. At least Wriggles junglers felt like they needed to gank because it wasn't a huge income loss (for the pressure), but now each jungle camp is a mini-objective that inches the jungler towards their flare (and subsequently MASSIVE damage), so it's incentivising them to ignore any form of map interaction. If there's an item out there where you don't need to outplay your opponents consistently to win (rather, you just farm better), that's just not healthy from the game perspective, a strategic counterplay perspective, and a teamplay perspective.

Could the meta shift to apply more pressure to the jungle via invades and such? Yes, but as long as the playstyle exists to support and pursue uninteractive gameplay, I think that's something we absolutely need to tackle. Right now, combat stats are insane so we had to tune them down. In the future I think we're looking into trying to promote more interactive play with Feral Flare but we'll see.

Jungle is just in an interesting place right now. Between Flare and Spirit of the Elder Lizard, it's just too heavily focused on damage, which is limiting support jungle picks. We could buff them but unless we buff them via damage (which turns into a really dumb power creep power) they just won't compete. We need to look at the underlying system + spirit stone first."
When asked about the lack of LeBlanc changes after being mentioned in the patch forecast, Pwyff commented:
"LeBlanc is an interesting problem space. If we were to 'remove' aspects of her, we effectively remove what makes her... unique? Interesting?

Also really fucking strong.

One suggestion, as an example, was to add a delay on her W snapback. That would be fine for opponents of LeBlanc but would make LB players around the world (yours truly) cry tears of absolute sadness. Remove the silence? Then LB can be bursted before she bursts you because she has like 200 HP.

It's a conundrum when a champion is defined by its super mega high burst and mobility. Go that far down the rabbit hole and any meaningful change will be a hard fast punch to the nether regions.

We're looking heavily into LeBlanc (reallly really are) but it's a fun case."

Shen Ult Bugfix in 4.7

In the 4.7 patch notes, there was a bug fix listed for a problem where Shen's ult would just randomly cancel.

RiotFpMcgee elaborated on what took so long to get a fix in for this after criticism that it's taken nearly two years to patch up.
"We've actually been working on fixing this bug for at least a year. Unfortunately, despite literally hundreds of man hours of testing, we were never able to find a 100% repro case (or even a 10% one) and claiming to fix something when you can't prove that it's fixed is a super negative player experience. All it takes is one failed fix that costs you a kill for you to stop trusting us when we say we fixed things (and that's not unreasonable).

Ultimately, some of our awesome engineers and designers worked to create some engine and logging improvements so we could track this thing down and resolve it. If you still experience this issue, PLEASE let us know! And if it's a hard to track down issue that you can reproduce 100% of the time on command, by all means share the knowledge!"

Pwyff also added in:
"It's not 100% confirmed fixed - I think specifically it was near impossible to reproduce (if anyone has a lead, let us know) but we did a deep dive on it and think we have a solution as well as a way of tracking it / understanding what causes it if it happens again."

Cool Zilean's don't look at Explosions

In a thread discussing a fan made rework for Zilean, 20thCenturyFox chronoshifted in to ask players about Zilean's theme and what feels best about him.

"I loves me some Zilean! Without wading into the balance-ability or other nuts-n-bolts stuff, I'm quite curious about the goals and theming--with these ideas are you trying to emphasize mid Zilean, support Zilean, or both? What epic high moments from the current kit are you trying to preserve--what feels the best about him? 
For me, these two videos do a really good job of summing up the Zilean experience: ,

I just had a game yesterday where I got a triple kill with time bombs, all three at the same instant, without double-bombing ^^. I had a bomb ticking on an enemy champ near a low health Jax, so I put a bomb on the Jax. Third champ walked in just as the first bomb detonated, killing Jax and detonating his bomb too, dropping all three. I probably should have just double-bombed the Jax, but it ended up feeling cooler because I didnt xD

One of the core truths of Zilean: Just enough time between placing the bomb and detonation to put on sunglasses."

Warwick Rework still in the Works

In a thread asking if ZenonTheStoic's Warwick rework was still in internal development, Morello chimed in :
"Thanks for the link to that - correct. Zenon has been working on a Warwick rework in his spare time, but when it will be done and come out it aways off.

I'd love to combine this one with a VU also, since WW looks pretty out-of-date."

Interested in the last tentative iteration of Warwick's rework? See this post for more information.

Hybrid Champions & Itemization

In a community beta thread discussing the lack of hybrid champions, Morello swung by to agree with a summoner's insight on what makes hybrid champions complicated and to comment that hybrid itemization could use some work.
"Quote: Thales ( NA )
"Hybrid doesn't actually work in the game, at least in any way like how it has been implemented in the past. If you just have it as damage scaling from both AD and AP, there's little functional difference between that and pure AD or pure AP. Mixed damage is not a substantial addition to gameplay, as anyone who's played against Mundo or Shyvana can testify. If a champ has damage scaling on both AD and AP, people will usually find whichever scales better and stack the crap out of that. 
The other challenge is that both AD and AP are heavily reliant on multiplicative scalings to reach their full effect. Penetrations, Deathcap passive, attack speed, etc. A champion encouraged to build both AP and AD won't be able to use those to full effects. That's another reason why even on hybridish champs like Kayle, Jax, and Akali, people build almost exclusively one stat. Kayle is probably the best example. Hybrid Kayle has always been mediocre, but pure AD Kayle used to be solid. After Riot slightly buffed her AP ratios, AD Kayle died, but pure AP Kayle saw a resurgence. We went directly from one to the other, with no hybrid stage in between. 
It might be possible to make a hybrid champion where the AD and the AP serve different but complementary roles. A champion with AP ratios on utility scaling, who uses those ratios to stay in range while using their AD to damage their victim, perhaps. Realistically, such a champion would probably end up being built heavily in only one direction, but at least there's a choice. As it has been previously used, hybrid builds add little to the game, and require major finagling of game systems to make work. A third choice is no good unless it's in some way clearly distinguishing itself from the other two, and hybrid does not pass that test." 
Excellent breakdown - this is exactly how we see it. It also tends to show that the scaling and stats of a champion being unique rarely do anything to actually make that champion stand out or provide something unique.

That being said, it means we should probably do something to fix the items, as I do like Guinsoo's especially. The ramping thing should be really useful on a few champions, but the stats make ti so they can't be."

Update on DDoS issues

Riot Gradius popped back up on the forums with an update on the DDoS issues thread from a few weeks ago:
"Hey everyone! I just wanted to update this thread with a "we haven't forgotten about the problem" update. 
There are a few different solutions that we're taking to this problem, and we're testing them in various ways. It's a hard thing to see so many games still being attacked, and we believe that every player has the right to a stable game without other's being able to affect the outcome by any form of denial of service.

Right now we're running various prevention methods through tests to ensure that when we add these protections all around the world, that we don't harm the stability of the servers. The last thing we want to do is rush a solution out the door and find that it does more harm than good. 
Also, those of you that are reporting drop hackers in this post, I'd like to request that you turn those posts intosupport tickets. This is much easier to track and take action on, and helps prevent the chance of player's accounts being called out on the forums. 
If there are any questions, I'll be monitoring this thread throughout the night, and I'll answer everything I can!"

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